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Thread: LIVING by VOW: The Heart Sutra - pp 185-192 (Stopping at No Hindrance)

  1. #1
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
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    LIVING by VOW: The Heart Sutra - pp 185-192 (Stopping at No Hindrance)

    Keeping it going.....

    In this section I connected with the way Shohaku continues to emphasize Prajna as “emptiness” and how it is the center of Mahayana practice. And how he expressed some of the inherent contradictions of practice:

    “Without bodhi-mind or a desire to practice, we cannot practice. But this desire is itself a cause of suffering.”

    And:

    “Ignorance is always there, but it’s an illusion. This means there is no separation between samsara and nirvana.”

    Just to cite a couple.

    Shohaku prescribes acceptance as the antidote to help bridge the contradictions and the freedom that it can bring.


    What stood out for you?



    Gassho,

    Shugen

    Sattoday/LAH
    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  2. #2
    Thank you.

    Gassho,
    Onkai
    Sat/LAH

  3. #3
    These last couple of sections are so relevant to our Sangha, IMHO: "All of life is our practice." The arrogance of youth and health lost, now even our desire to practice is empty! What else is there to do but "accept the reality of this body, mind and world as it is, and practice as much as possible."

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Jakuden View Post
    These last couple of sections are so relevant to our Sangha, IMHO: "All of life is our practice." The arrogance of youth and health lost, now even our desire to practice is empty! What else is there to do but "accept the reality of this body, mind and world as it is, and practice as much as possible."

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH
    This is so true for me. I am in no way as experienced as Shohaku; I think that obviously goes without saying, but I'm saying it because interestingly I had a very similar experience to his where I had stopped sitting for a couple of months. It's a pattern in practice; sometimes I reject it because I lose sight of its meaning, but I never throw it out; I give myself space; I know myself and I need it, but I always come back. I just have to understand things in my own way; in these times I can get really crabby about practice. I just don't want to hear anyone's views, etc.

    I think it's a part of my growing up frankly; I think it's a way of me growing where i need to figure out my practice myself for a time; then I usually reintegrate into the path and I'm good to go.

    Anyway recently, I've gone through this over the past couple of months. The other day I just came to the cushion, and I think I realized that I was bringing expectation to it; I just had to sit and not worry about all this crap - admitted crap I bring to this practice.

    I mean, I don't know anything, and sometimes I create this idea of practice that brings false answers; then I end up breaking lose of that construction and I reject everything until I can sort it all out. These are things I do and am creating. So when Shohaku writes about sitting without expectation or that the Heart Sutra is telling us to stop looking around; this is it, it just hits home so deeply that it is like a relief. I actually felt relieved yesterday as I read this and then sat; I came home after a long time drifting out there amidst my delusive creations.

    I don't know if any of this makes sense, but it's part of why I think vow is so important to me; I will inevitably drop off and get lost, but the vows are a tether that bring me back.

    Gassho,

    Risho
    -st

  5. #5
    This is a wonderful section. There were plenty of “ah ha!” moments as I read. I agree with Jakuden. Much of what is said in this section is echoed by the teachings here at Treeleaf.

    Something that screamed out at me is how Okumura exposes the apparent contradictions inherent in this practice. I say “apparent” because as I am learning and as he demonstrates, there is no contradiction. Not one and not two. The Koan of life is right there.

    A couple of phrases that caught my attention

    Our practice is not to escape from delusion or samsara but to practice right in the middle of them.
    Definitely reflects “All of life is our temple”.

    When we sit we let go of all illusions, good and bad, all emotions, and all philosophical understanding. We just let them go. We just open our hands.
    Just sitting means just settling down right now, right here, and working on the ground of this absolute reality before the separation of samsara and nirvana. Samsara and nirvana are one. That is prajñā. That is wisdom before separation or discrimination. It’s easy to talk about but very difficult to practice.
    One thing I’ve noticed while reading this book is that I’ll read something and have a flash of insight. Sometimes I t feels so bright it is like the sun but after a while that insight fades and is forgotten. This practice is so deceptive. It is easy and difficult at the same time.

    Sorry if this seems unfocused. I definitely got something out of this reading that I am unable to articulate. Really all I should have said was ...



    Tairin
    Sat today & LAH
    Last edited by Tairin; 03-07-2018 at 02:23 AM.
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  6. #6
    Member Seishin's Avatar
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    We are responsible for what we create. It all depends on our attitude toward life. There’s no objective samsara and no objective nirvana. We create our own world. Delusion never disappears.
    After reading this one more time, this small section stood out for me. Its me that makes or allows me to be angry, miserable, irritable etc no one else. Its my attitude that allows these delusions to manifest and my attitude that let's them go. OK easier said than done but that's down to me and no one else at the end of the day. Or is it? In our great interconnected practice you all have an influence on my outlook and perhaps me on yours.


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart

  7. #7
    So much is resonating for me in this book and so much is inspiring me, I find it almost impossible not to quote each entire chapter with the comment 'Yes this! Just this!'

    Hopefully I'll be brief and just highlight a couple of things that really stood out from the brilliance..
    Thirst - I love the use of this word as an alternative to desire, it really works for me - immediate, physical.
    The conundrums...
    Thought is a delusion, but it is a necessary part of the reality of our life
    We can't live without thoughts, so we have to learn how to live agreeably with them. This sometimes seems to be all that my practice is. And I feel guided in that by this

    Our practice is not an escape from a worldly life of desire and delusion. It is not a method to 'attain' enlightenment or wisdom. We just sit in the absolute reality that is before separation into enlightenment and delusion. They are both here. We negate nothing.
    And then at the end these poignant words....
    I thought I was a great Zen Master, but fortunately or unfortunately that didn't happen.
    Really?!? I don't know what constitutes a Zen Master, but I do know that Shohaku is a beautiful teacher, and that works for me
    Gassho
    Meitou
    satwithyoualltoday/lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  8. #8
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meitou View Post
    So much is resonating for me in this book and so much is inspiring me, I find it almost impossible not to quote each entire chapter with the comment 'Yes this! Just this!'
    I feel the same way!

    Gassho,

    Shugen

    Sattoday/LAH
    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  9. #9
    Eishuu
    Guest
    I really liked this section, particularly this quote:

    "Just sitting means just settling down right now, right here, and working on the ground of this absolute reality before the separation of samsara and nirvana".

    And "I had to accept reality with a half-broken body in a very hard situation. When I did, there was nothing to seek after, nothing to escape from...I simply had to settle down in the present moment". I found it really moving and it spoke to me of just radical, complete acceptance. I think I've been getting hung up on having to meditate in odd postures and feeling like it's not proper practice so I found this really helpful and beautiful.

    Gassho
    Eishuu
    ST/LAH

  10. #10
    This whole section reminded me of a Sit-a-long that Jundo did shortly after I joined Treeleaf. He was sitting on a balcony overlooking a loud and busy corner in Tokyo (I think), and he said you have to sit with the mess and noise of life, that zazen didn't and shouldn't have to be about silent meditation halls, that a life of practice means sometimes practicing amongst your life. That's always stuck with me. Like Risho, I also sometimes drift away from zazen. I sat outside the other day (not exactly Tokyo, but not my quiet indoor altar either) and it was the first I've sat in over three weeks. But in all that time between sits my practice never left me. Sitting zazen is not my practice, my life is, and zazen is part of my life, but I expect a lot more from my life than I expect from my practice. Despite my years of practice and all the insight I have gained from it, I still screw up my life as I try to figure out how to live up to the vows and precepts. My samsara is my life, my practice, and my nirvana. And because I kinda get that I'm not too concerned about wandering away from zazen from time to time - not that I recommend it, mind you!
    AL (Jigen) in:
    Faith/Trust
    Courage/Love
    Awareness/Action!

    I sat today

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